Washington, DC – A Senate committee has approved legislation that would allow states to collect abandoned mine land money with no strings attached.
The legislation, passed Thursday, would require the federal government to pay the dollars directly instead of through grants
that the states must apply for.
The money comes from the abandoned mine lands program, which uses taxes on coal production to clean up abandoned mine sites and related pollution.
Both of Wyoming's senators, Republicans Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, along with both of Montana's senators, Democrats Max Baucus and Jon Tester, have pushed the legislation.
The two states receive large amounts of money from the fund.
A similar House bill has not moved.